We hope these tips for caring for those with dementia prove helpful.

A Caregiver is Always on the Job
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or dementia is a demanding job. Waking hours are filled with seeing to the activities of daily living for your loved one, ensuring that they are stimulated and all of their needs are met. It is important to get plenty of rest to allow yourself to recharge. But sometimes worry prevents a good night's sleep.

What keeps you up at night?
  • Worrying about a loved one getting up in the middle of the night, leaving the home, or wandering away disoriented?
  • Concerned that an unattended senior will fall and be unable to get up?
  • Anxious that my loved one is withdrawing and becoming isolated?

These are common concerns of those caring for someone with Alzheimer's or dementia. Read on to learn tips to keep your loved one safe. 

April's Calendar Has Diverse Offerings
 
With Easter, Earth Day, Opening Day of Baseball, the dreaded Tax Day and lots of Spring activities, April has much to offer. Click the button below for the full activity calendar.


Wonder About Wandering?

According to the Alzheimer's Association, 60% of those with Alzheimer's or dementia will wander. Anyone with memory problems that is ambulatory is at risk for wandering. People at any stage of Alzheimer's or dementia can get confused or disoriented, even in familiar places. Are you prepared if your loved one wanders away?

The National Institute on Aging has put together a brief fact sheet with tips to safeguard against wandering.


Planning ahead and taking precautions are your best strategies for preventing wandering.
  • Enroll your loved one in the Take Me Home Program through the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Easy online enrollment is free and takes minutes. Click on www.sdsheriff.net/tmh to get started.
  • From a GPS Pilot Program to MedicAlert San Diego, Alzheimer's San Diego has programs to assist in the recovery of those who wander, but advanced preparation is required. Learn more at their website, alzsd.org.
  • Safeguard your home to mitigate elopement events. Check the Alzheimer's Association's or the National Institute of Health's websites for helpful tips.
Home Safety and Alzheimer's

Isolation Impacts Alzheimer's

When someone with memory loss feels confused or befuddled, one reaction is to withdraw. But by removing themselves from all social situations, they are actually causing more harm than good. Isolating themselves may have short-term comfort, but the long term effects can be devastating.

According to research, isolation of those with memory loss and their caregivers can shorten their lifespans. The absence of stimulation and socialization has negative physical and neurological effects. Feelings of loneliness have contributed to quicker cognitive decline as well as to long-term health issues.

Alzheimer's experts stress the importance of keeping those with memory loss and their caregivers engaged in activities that stimulate the mind and body. Don't cut yourself off from the activities that you enjoy. AARP strongly suggests protecting your social time, see why in the article below.


Looking for social activities with other caregivers and their loved ones who have memory loss? Alzheimer's San Diego hosts a calendar of activities each month of fun outings.


Concerned about inappropriate behavior in public? The National Institute on Aging has a handy guide for planning for public outings to reduce your stress.
 
Getting a Good Night's Sleep

Now getting back to what keeps you up at night... How do you get to sleep?  Counting sheep? Spa sounds? Sheer exhaustion?

If you are having trouble getting to or staying asleep, t he National Institute of Health has a guide for you. Besides controlling your environment (temperature, room darkness, bed comfort), think about your lifestyle: Stick to a schedule. Avoid foods that will keep you up. Exercise. Get up with the sun.

For the complete guide, click on the link below.


Sleep well!
Did You Know...?

Your heartbeat changes and mimics the music you listen to.

Human Bones are ounce for ounce, stronger than steel.

Sleeping less than 7 hours each night reduces your life expectancy. (For help, see article above.)

Without your pinky finger, you would lose about 50% of your hand strength.

You can burn 20% more fat by exercising in the morning on an empty stomach.

Morgan Freeman didn't appear in a movie until age 34, and didn't get a big role until he was 52, with Driving Miss Daisy and Glory.

When Disney released "Princess and the Frog" in 2009, 50 children in the U.S. were hospitalized with salmonella from kissing frogs.

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of long words.

A Cleveland Browns fan requested six Cleveland Browns pallbearers at his funeral so "the Browns could let him down one last time."

Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.

The word "OK" originated in 1839 when a newspaper used it as a funny abbreviation of "oll korrect."

In 1984, a boy wrote a letter to Ronald Reagan asking for federal funds to clean his bedroom after his mother called it a "disaster area."
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